E&J X Kani
Reach for Excellence
A LABEL REDESIGNED BY A LEGEND
E&J Brandy is celebrating the legacy of Godfather of Urban Streetwear Karl Kani with a redesigned E&J XO label, the chance to win a one-on-one mentorship with the legend himself, and an exclusive capsule collection just for E&J fans.
Behind the Label
We partnered with Karl Kani to celebrate over 30 years of elevating the streetwear industry with a reimagined E&J XO label that’s signature smooth.
OWN A PIECE OF THE LEGACY
Karl Kani designed the new E&J XO label to help fans toast to the future while honoring the legacy of both brands. Ask your local retailer if the ultra-limited release is available near you.
DESIGNING. DISRUPTING. DOING IT BIG.
“Yes I Can.” Those three words transformed Carl Williams into Karl Kani. After asking himself “Can I do it?” and answering, “Yes I can,” he changed his name and moved to LA at 21. His focus on minority and contemporary culture got him noticed in a fashion industry that had been largely ignoring streetwear, and the brand grew in the 90s with notable fans like Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., P. Diddy, and Snoop Dogg. While his iconic label has expanded worldwide, Karl Kani garments are still produced in the U.S. and stay true to his legacy of authenticity, craftsmanship, and thoughtful design.
EXPLORE THE LEGACY
Karl Kani has crafted a legacy of excellence, creativity, and resilience over four decades of hard work and hustle. The reimagined Karl Kani x E&J XO label celebrates his story—so click through to see how we’re raising a glass to a legend.
EARLY DAYS: MAKING THINGS HAPPEN
Karl Kani was born in 1968 to Costa Rican immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn. From shoveling snow at eight to delivering packages in high school, Kani embraced hard work and hustle.
That determined spirit remained when he got his start in fashion—inspired by hip hop, bolstered by his family’s legacy of resilience, and knowing he’d never accept failure.
EARLY DAYS: MAKING THINGS HAPPEN“The cycle was set at a young age: go out, work hard to get what you want in life, and understand that it’s not just given to you. Hard work and dedication is all part of the legacy.”
THE 90's:KANI & THE CULTURE
The Karl Kani brand was launched in 1989. The decade that followed was an explosive one—not just for Kani, but for hip hop culture. Kani’s street style became a hit with icons from Tupac to Notorious B.I.G. to Snoop Dogg.
Demand for clothes that reflected the popularity of hip hop culture meant that stores had no choice but to stock his lines and continue to give him opportunities to innovate. In 1996, Black Enterprise magazine named Karl Kani Infinity Corporation the world’s most successful Black-owned firm.
THE 90's:KANI & THE CULTURE“The 90s displayed everything I like to see; it was the first time that you had young people that came from the streets making money for themselves, building their own businesses, being successful. Those are the greatest moments of my life, being there at the beginning of something that transcends the moment.”
A toast to the 90's E&J XO COLA
- 1.5 oz E&J XO
- 4.5 oz Cola
- Garnish with lime wedge
Mix ingredients together in a tall cooler glass, then garnish with a lime wedge.
THE 00's:UNDERSTAND & EXPAND
The new millennium brought Kani new challenges—and new opportunities. A young generation of social media-savvy consumers needed to be embraced; and the growing worldwide popularity of hip hop created the need for international expansion.
As love for the culture grew more mainstream, Kani turned to social media to build the brand across the world. Launching in the international market was a major shift, and what he calls the brand’s biggest success in the 2000s.
THE 00's:UNDERSTAND & EXPAND“Hip hop was calling, and we had to answer the call. We realized just how big this culture is, and opened our eyes up to establish ourselves internationally in a big way.”
A toast to the 00's E&J XO SPICED
- 1.5 oz E&J XO
- 4.5 oz Diplomàtico Rum
- Dash grenadine
- Splash lemon lime soda
In a highball glass, mix brandy with rum and grenadine, filling the rest of the glass with lemon-lime soda.
THE 10's:COMEBACK ERA
The 2010s saw a resurgence of vintage style and affinity for 90s culture. A fresh generation of consumers, who idolized the Kani-clad rappers of the 90s, spearheaded a new golden age of desire for Karl Kani signature pieces.
The brand focused on reinterpreting classic styles, joining forces with a new generation of consumers that valued heritage as much as innovation. Successes from this decade include connecting with the newest class of hip hop artists, like Migos and G Herbo.
THE 10's:COMEBACK ERA“All these new young artists came to me and wanted to rock vintage Kani. That was such a fulfilling feeling for me as a designer and owner of a brand. Money can’t buy legacy, and it can’t buy history. That’s why it’s so important that true heritage brands understand the value of what they have, because they’re never to be replaced again.”
A toast to the 10's E&J XO SIDECAR
- 0.75 oz E&J XO
- 0.75 oz triple sec
- 0.75 oz lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice, shake. Strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with lemon peel and a strawberry.
THE 20's:GAME ON
As the brand clears the 30-year mark, Kani says this decade is everything. Now understanding the dedication it takes to become an icon, he’s filled with energy for what’s on the horizon.
Karl Kani is currently the #1 street brand internationally. The team has no plans to halt the momentum, or rest on its laurels. After all, the self-made, breaker of barriers, always-inspired Karl Kani is just getting started.
THE 20's:GAME ON“This is what we worked hard for. I think that now it’s come full circle, and we’re understanding what dedication is all about, so I feel like this will be a good decade. We feel that energy happening for us right now.”
A toast to the 20's E&J XO Neat
- 2 oz E&J XO
Pour 2 ounces E&J XO Brandy into a lowball glass or snifter and enjoy.
THE KARL KANI x E&J XO COLLECTION
Reach for excellence. Reimagine your style. Raise a glass to an icon. We’re celebrating the redesigned E&J XO label—and the Godfather of Urban Streetwear’s legacy—with an exclusive capsule collection designed by the legend himself.
Kani x E&J XO Hoodie
Comfort, the Kani Way.
Kani x E&J XO Gloves
An iconic streetwear look, right at your fingertips.
Kani x E&J XO Rocks Glass
Sip your E&J XO in style with this custom rocks glass.
2022 E&J x KARL KANI MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
2022 E&J x Kani mentorship program
Applications for the 2022 program are now closed. Stay tuned to see what the 2022 Grand Prize Winner does with their mentorship program and find out about future opportunities.